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Historic Town Square & Downtown Carbondale
Twenty-five historic buildings ring Carbondale's nostalgic Town Square. When Daniel Harmon Brush, Carbondale's founding father, filed the original 56-acre plat of Carbondale in 1852, almost 10 acres were left open in the center of town. Today you can shop charming locally owned boutiques here, ranging from bike shops to furniture stores.
Touch of Nature
Touch of nature is the location of the conference site. Accommodations include rustic cabins and motel style rooms. Rooms are basic but convenient to the meetings.
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge is located primarily in Williamson County, with small extensions into eastern Jackson and northeastern Union counties of southern Illinois. At almost 44,000 acres and with three lakes, Crab Orchard, Little Grassy, and Devils Kitchen, endless opportunities abound for watching wildlife, hiking nature trails, photography, swimming, fishing from the bank or by boat, and hunting. Four seasonally operational campgrounds are open from April-October and offer full hook-up, water, electric, or non-electric sites. Refuge staff and volunteers at the visitor center welcome visitors and sightseers 7 days a week from 8am-4:30pm. Visitor activities such as guided hikes, bald eagle tours, and monthly F.U.N. programs help connect families with the diversity of flora and fauna that southern Illinois has to offer. The Refuge provides many opportunities for wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation for the nature lover in us all.
Oak Grove Cabin Rental
Brand new private and spacious 3 - 2 bedroom cabins located on 10 wooded acres right in the heart of the Shawnee National Forest. Minutes from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail and the orchards. Enjoy hiking, biking and much more.
Egyptian Hills Marina Lodging
Egyptian Hills Resort is your passport to the Ultimate outdoor family vacation. Whether you are into waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, sport fishing, or pleasure boating; the Lake of Egypt is a boater’s paradise. All within a stone’s throw of your cabin. Our cabins and chalets sit next to soothing, running streams and waterfalls – with breathtaking lake front views. Each cabin/chalet features a full kitchen, living room, large deck, full bedroom, 2 loft bedrooms and full bath.
CITY: Creal Springs
Tom Cat Hill Cabins
Located off the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, 5 miles north of Alto Pass on IL 127,(2 miles from Cedar Lake) you will find these two luxury cabins, Cabin #1 accommodates eight. Cabin #2 accommodates two. The cabins offer wonderful amenities to create a relaxing enjoyable visit. Some of the special features are gourmet kitchen, hot tub, washer & dryer, gas fireplace; satellite TV, WiFi, DVD/VCR Player, central air & heat. Boat rental are available for patrons - pontoons, canoes, kayaks for use on nearby Cedar Lake. A great ending for a day would be relaxing in the hot tub or sitting on the deck overlooking the Shawnee National Forest, enjoy a glass of wine from any of the local wineries.
Owl Creek Vineyard and Winery
Producing world-class wines made from Southern Illinois grapes, Owl Creek is located near beautiful Giant City State Park, country bed and breakfasts, and antique shops. Wine by the glass may be enjoyed on the deck, or in the picnic area surrounded by the vineyard.
Old Illinois Passenger Depot Railroad Museum
Built in 1903 by the Illinois Central Railroad, the Old Railroad Passenger Depot has since been restored and now serves as home to the Carbondale Train Museum. Filled with information, artifacts and souveniers, the museum contains significant facts relating to Carbondale's history. Ring the bell of an original train car from the Illinois Central Railroad, which still sits on the track!
“Ciao” on delicious Italian food and delight in a grand parade. There will be midway rides and games, live music, a bocce tournament, a grape stomp, a pasta cook-off, a kids pet and bike parade, a road race and an art contest.
Bear Branch Lodging
Features 5 cabins and a lodging facility on the highest hilltop in Pope County, overlooking and literally surrounded by the beautiful Shawnee National Forest. Most cabins have private baths, kitchenettes and charcoal grills outside.
Bald Eagle Watching in the Cache River Wetlands
The Cache River Wetlands offers great opportunities for eagle watching, as well as spotting other birds. The Cache River Wetland Center provides resource and identification materials to help you spot eagles and other birds in the area and along the rivers. They will provide maps and directions to the viewing station for the nest just off Illinois Route 37 off Perks road and south of the visitor's center.
Walnut Grove Cabins
Couples Getaway Vacation Cabins, perfect for a romantic wine trail getaway, outdoor adventure vacation, or just to reconnect with your loved one in your private wooded retreat.
The arboretum houses more than 6,000 species of trees, plus shrubs, wildflowers and wildlife. A hiking trail takes you through the woods and past stones from a Shawnee Indian Council fire.
Giant City Park Campground
Class A campground with separate tent and trailer camping for equestrians. Also, a youth group camp and primitive walk-in tent sites.
Poplar Camp Beach
Beautiful sandy waterfront on Cedar Lake. State certified Lifeguards on duty during beach hours, lap lane, restrooms, picnic tables and a concession area.
Makanda Inn B&B
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest this new inn is located just 1/2 mile south of the Makanda Boardwalk, adjacent to the Giant City State Park and only 15 minutes south of Southern Illinois University. Featuring four guest rooms, each designed for privacy & comfort. This eco-friendly lodging establishment features peaceful settings with modern touches ideal for business travel, romance, adventure seekers, wine lovers, and SIU Alumni, parents and visitors.
Bandy's Pumpkin Patch
This fun Fall destination features mazes, inflatable games, face painting for the little ones, and hayrides. Grab a snack from the concession stand (try the sweet rock candy) before heading home with the perfect pumpkin. (open Oct. 1-30, 9am-6pm)
CITY: Johnston City
Stone Creek Golf Club & Resort
Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, Stone Creek features an 18 hole-championship course and beautiful cabins. Stone Creek also offers a restaurant, clubhouse, and a scenic area for hiking and fishing.
Arrowhead Lake and Campground
Located on the northeast corner of Johnston City, this 35-acre lake includes a paved boat ramp for fishing, walking path, and campground. Only electric motors and canoes are permitted. You will find largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, black and white crappie, and channel catfish in this small reservoir. Pedal boat rentals are available from July-September.
CITY: Johnston City
Skyline View Cabins
Skyline View Cabins invite you to Southern Illinois to enjoy the most beautiful view in the area. From your cabin front porch, you can see the rolling hills of the Shawnee National Forest, Bald Knob Cross and lots of wildlife. In the Winter and early Spring there are 20 acres of hillside woods to tromp through, The property joins the Quetil Walking Trail, into Alto Pass. Both cabins have vaulted ceilings in the living room, kitchen and bedrooms, with real fireplaces, satellite TV and DVD player. Cabins come furnished with leather look sofas, chairs with ottomans, and a dining table that seats 4 people. Local art has been used to decorate both of the cabins.
Little Grand Canyon Trail
The Little Grand Canyon trail is located within the Shawnee National Forest. Experience the easy 3.6 miles of beauty it offers as you ride your bike or hike these fun trails that meander past lush wooded canyons, riverside bluffs, songbirds, woodpeckers and deer; while hawks and vultures soar high above the cliffs. Explore towering rock walls, eroded sandstone canyons, craggy bluffs and moist bottom lands, too.
Cobden Peach Festival
Celebrate the local peach harvest, sponsored by the Cobden Lions Club. Join us for fresh peaches from local orchards, carnival rides and games, crowning of ‘Miss Peach Queen’, homemade food and peach cobbler & pie with a 5K run/walk and parade on Saturday. Free admission.
Boars Nest Cabins
Located close to most of the award winning wineries of Southern Illinois, the Boars Nest will be off the beaten path yet still close to town in a peaceful atmosphere. All non-smoking cabins with packages available, including meals, drinks, transportation.
Villa De Bertolino
Villa De Bertolino welcomes you with a peaceful, friendly and exciting getaway. Relax by your private saltwater pool and 6 seated hot tub, day and night. The villa is an open, family-style environment and sleeps 8 comfortably, with capacity of 12. Enjoy nature exploring the live creek on our 28 wooded acres in the heart of the wine country!
The Lodge at Giant City State Park
Make the scenic trek to Giant City State Park for the all-you-can-eat fried chicken dinner, served in the rustic dining room at Giant City Lodge. The family-style Southern fried chicken comes with made-from-scratch dumplings, mashed potatoes and biscuits with rich country milk gravy.
Cedar Rock Cabins
Fully furnished cabins in the Shawnee National Forest. Wooded paths wind up and down the hills past rock formations. Enjoy the screened in porch at dusk and view area wildlife. Relax in the hot tub under the stars.
Southern Illinois Wine Trail
Illinois' newest wine trail connects six wineries dotted throughout the southeast corner of the state. Visitors can enjoy both breathtaking vistas and friendly rural communities, all while sampling excellent red and white wines.
Flamm Orchards/Fruits & Cream Stand
Take a drive out to the orchards and buy in-season strawberries, peaches and apples. Flamm's Fruits & Cream Stand offers treats like homemade strawberry shortcake, cobblers, apple dumplings and pies.
Kite Hill Vineyards Bed and Breakfast
Kite Hill's B&B is located on a 30-acre estate with a five-acre vineyard, all surrounding Kite Hill Lake. Start your day with a full three-course breakfast followed by a stroll through the vineyards or around the lake. After a full day of Southern Illinois activities, enjoy a complimentary wine tasting at the winery.
Rustle Hill Cabins
The Vineyard Chalet cabins are nestled across the valley from the winery, overlooking the pond and amphitheater. Some of the amenities include: Cathedral ceilings, Full kitchen, King size bed, Upstairs loft with six windows, 2 fireplaces, Central heat and air, Wrap around deck. The cabin is designed for a single couple...but can sleep 4 to 6.
The Science Center of Southern Illinois
This center was designed for children ages 3-13 and their families. The science museum features several interactive hands-on exhibits dealing with a variety of basic concepts of science, as well as special events and programs.
Located near the town of Ozark in the Shawnee National Forest, Jackson Falls offers arguably the best rock climbing in southern Illinois. There are roughly 60 climbing areas along the sandstone bluffs and freestanding boulders, each with multiple named routes on them. There are over 500 named routes in all. Most of the routes are 50-60 feet in height. The whole area sits in a very scenic glen. Most of the routes at Jackson Falls are sport routes, though there are a number of traditional routes, and a few areas suitable for setting up a top-rope. There are also many excellent bouldering opportunities here.
Devil's Kitchen Cabins
2 cabins. Premier outdoor lodging deep in the woods of Southern Illinois. Perfect for a romantic getaway, vacation, or just a place to relax in peace and quiet.
This historic boardwalk dates back to the 1890s. Today it offers galleries featuring quality handcrafts created by local artisans and a country store.
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour
Shawnee Bluffs Canopy Tour consists of eight zip lines, the longest stretching more than 1,100 feet, which will zig-zag across the property’s bluffs and through the valley. The tour also includes 11 platforms high in the trees, three aerial suspension bridges, the longest stretching 180 feet, and two short ground hikes. A canopy tour is an exciting way to experience the flora, fauna, geology and history of the outdoors by safely traversing an established route of ziplines and aerial bridges between platforms built in the trees, and they are just plain fun!
Bruce Goff Castle Bed & Breakfast
The Castle is a premiere architectural delight atop a forested bluff in the area of the Shawnee National Forest. Accommodations for up to three acquainted couples. The Castle has a sunken tub and is a great 'outdoors' experience.
Rustle Hill Winery
On the Shawnee Hills Wine Trail, this winery features an amphitheater bandstand for live music, great wines and beers, restaurant and cabins for rent.
Pinnon Lake Cabin
Tucked away in the beautiful rolling hills of Southern Illinois, the cabin location rests on the highly acclaimed Southern Illinois Wine Trail. Pinnon Lake is five minutes from the edge of Shawnee National Forrest. We are only three miles off Interstate 57 at exit 36. Moments from anywhere yet feels like miles from it all. On any given day you may observe deer in the field, geese landing on the lake, a family of wild turkeys at the edge of the woods. In the spring you may even take a peek at our new baby calves, as the property is a third generation working family farm.
Blue Sky Vineyard
Along the majestic Shawnee Hills Wine Trail you’ll find Blue Sky Vineyard—a stunning Tuscan-inspired winery and vineyard. Stroll through the vineyards, enjoy wine tastings, and relax on the outdoor terrace with the rolling countryside as your tapestry.
Cache River State Natural Area
Renowned for its ancient cypress-tupelo swamp, this natural area has been named one of America's 10 Most Beautiful Hidden Gems by Budget Travel. This sprawling area contains 100 threatened or endangered plant and animal species, and 11 state champion trees that have stood for centuries. Visitors enjoy birding, hunting, wildlife watching, canoeing and hiking. Bikers can access the Cache River via the Tunnel Hill State Trail.
Shawnee Hills Wine Trail
The Shawnee Hills Wine Trail features 12 award-winning wineries located along a 25-mile scenic drive along highway 127 and highway 51 in the Shawnee National Forest. Along the way have a picnic, go on a hike, visit a shop, and stay in a cozy B&B or cabin. Many of the wineries host special events throughout the summer and fall.
Giant City Lodge
The 34 cabins offered at Giant City State Park include 12 one-room cabins and duplex cabins nestled in the bluffs near the lodge, featuring a living room and deck overlooking the woods below. An outdoor swimming pool is on site. Giant City Lodge's full-service restaurant features a popular all-you-can eat chicken dinner. Closed Dec. and Jan. every year.
Egyptian Hills Resort
Egyptian Hills Resort is your passport to the Ultimate outdoor family vacation. Whether you are into waterskiing, wakeboarding, tubing, sport fishing, or pleasure boating; the Lake of Egypt is a boater’s paradise. All within a stone’s throw of your cabin. Within minutes of your cabin, your family can enjoy guided expeditions such as; horseback riding, rock climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, geo-caching, wildlife photography and many other outdoor activities. Whether planning a single activity or multiple activities for your group, we at Egyptian Hills are your personal concierge in planning your ultimate outdoor family vacation. Whether onsite or through one of our partner guides, all activities are tailored for all ages and experience levels.
CITY: Creal Springs
Scuba dive at this unique spring-fed stone quarry and marvel at underwater treasures such as a submerged airplane (actually used in the movie U.S. Marshals) and a cement petting zoo. Mermet Springs offers on-site instruction and equipment rental.
Giant City State Park
Spectacular woodlands and sheer sandstone walls create a challenge for rock climbing and rappelling, as well as hiking. Outdoor lovers will also find horseback riding, a lookout tower, cabins and a swimming pool. Dine at historic Giant City Lodge, known for its homemade fried chicken dinner. Two different locations in Giant City State Park near Carbondale give you climbing options. A trail behind the picnic shelter takes you to a set of steep bluffs known as Shelter #1 near the Makanda entrance; another climbing area of the park includes the steep sandstone cliffs in Devil's Standtable. Plan to bring all of your own equipment since no permanent anchors are allowed. Ropes are permitted in both areas. After rainstorms, the wet sandstone gets really slippery. Use caution when grabbing for ledges as copperhead snakes warm themselves on the rocks during sunny days.
Tunnel Hill State Trail
Rolling agricultural fields, reclaimed strip mines, ravines, rocky streams and wooded bluffs dominate the northern half of the Tunnel Hill State Trail. With 47.8 miles (one-way) of crushed gravel surface, extended inclines and dark tunnels, this trail is a difficult one, but one not to pass up, as long as you’re up for the challenge. The southern half of the trail explodes with scenery that includes bottomland woods, ponds, streams and marshes. The trail, which winds through seven towns, even touches upon a handful of ghost towns that faded into the landscape after the trains here stopped running.
Shawnee National Forest
The Shawnee National Forest is famed for its awesome Garden of the Gods, and is home to the Rim Rock Recreational Trail (the forest has a system of 403 miles of equestrian/hiking trails). Hikers are greeted by magnificent jutting walls of rock covered with emerald-green moss, and paths that meander through canyons under the forest canopy. Nestled between the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the stunning Shawnee National Forest landscape features rolling hills, lakes, creeks and rugged bluffs. If you’re into climbing than a must-see is Jackson Falls, located near the town of Ozark in the Hidden Springs Ranger District in Shawnee National Forest. The climb takes place on 60 feet of sandstone cliffs and boulders that include numerous freestanding towers.